Learning to Sharpen the Saw

Learning to Sharpen the Saw

I first learned about the program from my mom and I'm not going to lie, I was not super optimistic about the idea. Horses intimidated me and I didn't want anything to do with them. At this point in my life, I just graduated high school and had a plan for my future but one detail fell through and my plan came apart. In the past, I've been the type of person who sets strict expectations for myself regardless of how realistic they are or not. So when my plan failed, I felt very angry, confused, and hurt toward myself. In my hurt, I retreated into myself and wouldn't let myself feel my emotions but instead bottled it all up. I didn't want to be a burden to anyone and I felt like other people had it way worse than I did. It made me feel guilty for feeling bad about my situation. My struggle with depression started back in 2020 when everyone started to isolate. I, unfortunately, went down some pretty dark roads of self-loathing. Since then I gained a better support system but I noticed that I was falling back into the old habits I had during that hard time of my life.

Bridle Up Hope couldn't have come at a better time. The way the habits work together to transform my life is beautiful. You can't have one habit without the other. One habit I think I'm going to need to put extra time working on is Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw. I have struggled with the idea that I am enough and that I am worthy of love for most of my life. Taking care of myself was always put on the back burner of my mind so I could focus on other things that seemed more important, things that would produce results like school, extracurriculars, and my job. While those things are important and set me up for a potentially stable future, it's equally as important to take time to enjoy life in the now; to take care of myself in the now, and realize happiness shouldn’t be a goal but a choice. Just being at Bridle Up Hope and experiencing the connection between the horses has helped me realize my worth as a human being and I have control over my reins and my life.

My instructor, Sarah Brown, was the first person in my life to help me truly understand that I was enough and that I deserve love and grace not only from other people but from myself. She helped guide me to realize my own worth and gave me a safe space to work through my emotions. I understand better now that my feelings are valid and I can take time to feel them and then let them go. On the more challenging days, I learned how to give myself grace and the horse's grace when I didn't get the results I was expecting but instead focused on the small victories. Just like the people, each horse I work with has something to offer and teach and I have learned so much. I will be forever grateful for my time working with my instructor and the horses on The 7 Habits. I'm so thankful that I have met so many amazing people and will be able to continue earning lessons. The barn feels like a second home and I will forever cherish it.

- Women's Experience Participant

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